I can only tell you what I use. I don't have much experience with free editing software. I use VideoReDo as it's pretty easy, can import and export/recode to a number of formats and you can burn a DVD directly from within the program. Those DVDs will play on just about any player, DVD and BD.
Now, if you want HD on a disc, then you either need to burn a Blu-Ray disc or do AVCHD... that's a standard DVD blank encoded to play high definition video on most BD players. For that you'll need to take the edited file from VideoReDo and use something such as tsmuxer to create the BD file structure, then imgburn to burn that to a DVD.
I used to do that with television shows for watching on the road, but now higher-capacity thumb drives are pretty cheap, I just stick 'em on one of those.
For movies, my BD player will play .mkv files and recognizes portable hard drives, though most of my viewing is via HTPC, so unless I'm sending something to my sister-in-law, I just don't deal much with discs, anymore.
Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
Last edited by DrDon; 11-09-2014 at 06:56 AM.